George Mason High School Graduation 2018

(Music) “Pomp and Circumstance” – Elgar Ladies and gentlemen please rise for the
presentation of our colors by the JROTC Virginia group 821 and the singing of
our national anthem Oh say can you see, by the dawn’s early light, what
so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming And the rockets red glare,
the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night
that our flag was still there oh say does that star
spangled banner yet wave O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave Thank you. Please be seated Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen and
welcome to this memorable occasion in the lives of our George Mason High
School seniors we extend an especially warm welcome to the friends and families
of our seniors we know that some of you have traveled great distances to be with
us this evening, we thank you. I am joined on stage by George Mason Valedictory
Scholars and speakers Charles Boland, Hannah Rollins, and you Adnan Teddy we
are greatly honored by the presence and participation of the Honorable Justin E.
Fairfax Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Thank You Lieutenant Governor for
joining us today Also joining us on stage are: Senior
Class President Sedona Descent, Senior Class Vice President Hannah Rollins, Senior
Class Secretary Otuwa Ankuma Senior Class Treasurer Samuel Updike, Class
Representative William Langham, Superintendent Dr. Peter
Noonan, Chief Academic Officer Miss Lisa High, Chief Operations Officer Miss Kristen
Michael, School Board Vice Chair Mr. Philip Reitinger, Mayor of Falls
Church City Mayor David Tartar, Director of Counseling Miss Alana Reyes, Senior
Class Advisors Mr. William Snyder and Mr. Brad McAdam, Assistant Principals
Dr. Kevin Clarke and Mr. Dave Sorensits, Athletic Director
Miss Julie Bravin, School Counselors Miss Valerie Chesley and Miss Dana Kirin, Band
Director Miss Mary Jo West and the George Mason Wind Ensemble and to the
left of the stage Choral Director Miss Jamie Sample and the George Mason High
School combined choirs I now invite Class Vice President Hannah
Rollins to come forward and welcome you on behalf of her fellow seniors. Hello
how is everybody doing? Good? Yeah all right.
Well my name is Hannah Rollins and I would like to welcome family, friends,
teachers, administrators, honored guests, and our fellow graduates to the
commencement ceremony of George Mason High School Class of 2018 On behalf of our class I’d like to thank
our parents for (always) for the constant love and support, teachers for their
excellent guidance, and friends for always being there throughout our high
school years, also a big thank you to our class sponsors Mr. Schneider and Mr.
McAdam finally I’d like to congratulate the class of 2018 on all of their
accomplishments over the past four years of high school and wish you the best
luck in your future endeavors come on guys, we did it! It is now my
sincere pleasure to introduce the school board Vice Chair Mr. Phil Reitinger
who will bring greetings from the school board What a wonderful day, it is my pleasure
to welcome you all as well from the school board this is the culmination of four
years really thirteen years of very hard work and we, the school board, are proud
of all of you the graduates, the parents, and families,
distinguished guests, faculty, and staff for the job that you’ve done
congratulations and let’s go. (applause) Good afternoon graduates congratulations to
all of you. Today I have the distinct opportunity to recognize the students
that are pursuing the International Baccalaureate Diploma and this year’s
George Mason Scholars and Valedictory Scholars the International Baccalaureate
or IB Diploma is awarded to students who have elected to pursue the most rigorous
course of study that’s available at George Mason High School, these students
took seven or more college-level courses completed a philosophy course called the
theory of knowledge and wrote an extended essay on a topic of their
choice, further, they documented numerous
extracurricular activities including creative endeavors, their participation
in clubs, organizations, and sports and their service-learning efforts
throughout the community do not go unnoticed, the award of an Ivy Diploma
will be based on the completion, successful completion, of all of the IB
Diploma requirements and the grades earned on those IB exams, this year we have
forty-seven students that are receiving recognition for IB Diploma candidacy,
they’re wearing gold medallions with red and black neck ribbons and that
signifies the achievement in the International Baccalaureate Diploma
program will the candidates please stand for recognition at this time. (applause) congratulations The george mason scholar award
recognizes the outstanding academic achievement of
our graduating seniors this award is presented to students who have completed a
high school program which includes a minimum of 25 credits a cumulative grade point average of three point eight
five and following courses taken four letter grades four years of social studies four
years of college preparatory mathematics three years of one foreign language or two years of
two different foreign languages three years of lab sciences and international baccalaureate courses in two different disciplines This year it’s my honor to recognize 71 students that are receiving this award they are wearing silver medallions this evening
to signify their outstanding academic achievement will the recipients of the george mason scholar
award please stand for recognition at this time congratulations and finally we recognize 53 students tonight who have earned the distinction
of being named george mason valedictory scholars by maintaining a cumulative
grade point average of 4.0, or better throughout their
entire high school career tonight they’re wearing gold medallions to signify their outstanding
academic achievement will the recipients of the george mason valedictory scholar award
please stand for recognition thank you and congratulations to all of you for your outstanding work and your commitment
to excellence throughout the last four years of your high school career good evening family faculty
distinguished guests and class of 2018 today we have reached a milestone
sitting in front of me are risk-takers thinkers communicators and open-minded individuals who are ready
to start the next stage of their lives we carry with us Accomplishments but also bittersweet memories such as
the all-nighters we had to pull because we decided to procrastinate and wait the night
before our essays are due or dodging the IB coordinator mr. Coast because
our extended essay was due two weeks ago or the accomplishment of getting first
place in the class kahoot our hearts racing as we try to
finish a page of entry in our RWN as Ms. Weston makes
her way towards us and The frustration we felt when we’re in class at 8
a.m. Knowing that fairfax had another snow day today we closed that chapter of
our life and start a new one first and foremost i would
like to thank god the almighty My parents siblings and my wonderful extended
family who have sacrificed so much for me alma sagrado Let’s give a round of applause to all our families
teachers and the George Mason team without whom We wouldn’t have gotten to where we are now Graduation is a moment of celebration but it’s also
a moment of reflection as IB loves to remind us When i moved to falls
church two years ago from ethiopia I thought it would be impossible for me to adjust and
fit in in such a different environment and school system it wasn’t just the fact that I didn’t
know how schoology worked or or that i didn’t grow up in this little city but
i miss my siblings my friends and my home I was, no longer in my comfort zone and that’s
what i want to talk about today: comfort zone. I Was lucky enough to get a
chance to live in a wonderful Neighborhood where everyone was welcoming i was even luckier to go
to george mason a school that offered every student an opportunity to pursue what they are passionate about whether
that be through academics music sport or art during my junior year we
were asked to write a poem part of it reads “the land of opportunity building
a home in a different community Afraid to fall so i went to church
then hope came i’ve done my research Unlike an ownerless beast i found my place
ironically a mustang became my saving grace” mason always made sure that our time here
was special and everyone found comfort but alas this comfort ends today as
we all begin new chapters in life some of us will go far from home
while others will remain nearby We might dislike it at first. We will definitely
feel uncomfortable and we may even fail we are creatures of habit and when our habits are
disrupted there is a moment of confusion and panic but we will grow we will learn and we will create a new
comfort zone i say this because of how i am today. I know the school like the back of my hand
and the once strangers are now my friends Things that made me panic because they were unfamiliar
to me are the things i now do unconsciously We’ve grown from the wide-eyed scared freshmen to earning our place
at the throne in the senior alcove and the senior courtyard as drake said started from the bottom now we’re here we are about, to go to college and start at the bottom all
over again as beloved freshmen. Our new comfort zone awaits Before i leave i would
like to say one more thing Remember to cherish every moment and not just the
big ones like graduation but also the small ones snapshots of these small but significant
moments are what collectively create will collectively create the bigger more
colorful colorful picture we call life and when you look back at your life you’ll be able to point
out different places where you found your comfort zone i Wish all graduates luck in their future endeavor and their
journey to change the world for the better thank you “You Will Be Found” from “Dear Evan
Hansen”, performed by GMHS Choir have you ever tried giving a speech with a cat
toy in front of your head? it’s very distracting warning the following
presentation is available courtesy of 12 years in the Falls Church City Public School
education system any ideas or content are not subject to further explanation, goggles are encouraged but not required and please keep
your hands and arms down like when a teacher asks a question in class this features made possible by mike’s deli puberty and viewers like you thank you friends FBI agents that monitor my computer
oompa loompas in the class of 2018 Good evening and welcome to a
crash course on how to do laundry Now, I’m sure you were expecting me to stand up
here and talk about the numerous achievements of Class of 2018 academic athletic Arts robotics and the positive
impact we’ve had on our community fun fact the year that the class of 2018 Entered kindergarten a DC sports
team DC United won a championship And after a 12-year drought the
Capitals just won the Stanley Cup I mean if that’s not a positive impact
on our community, I don’t know what is Anyways, I’ll leave that sports talk to David
Miller. I’d rather talk about laundry in A mere three months you’ll be going off
to start a new chapter of your life College career the military becoming a famous youtuber
following Justin Bieber’s revival tour. You name it. In four months you’ll look into your closet and come to find nothing
but a ratchet mason t-shirt that your mom made you pack for sentimental reasons Where did all your clothes go you look into the corner and wince at
the heaping pile of dirty laundry with pizza crusts intertwined? Now there are many steps to doing laundry as
many of you graduates probably don’t know. I bet you $100 that is harder for you to learn how
to do your own laundry than it was passing. Mr Walsh’s freshman year English class We have all grown academically physically and mentally throughout
our years at Mason along with our t-shirt size, except you Mr. Hsu I still see you
wearing George Mason class of 2007 t-shirts all the time Anyway on to the crash course First press the button on the
washing machine to start the water This should look like the constant stream
of water leaking from the ceilings of Mason Next empty your pockets, you’ll find money like the
money found to build a new school in the coming years Rocks like our playground boulder at
Mary Ellen Henderson middle school little plastic toys that
you will soon see and Turf from the many achievements that our class
has provided for the Mason athletic program Next throw your clothes
into the washing machine Unless your’re doctor DeFazio in which there is a
year-long syllabus for which clothes to watch on what day Now as you look inside the washer You see many different types of clothing awkwardly
close to each other just like you all in the audience This wacky mixture of clothing
reminds me of the class of 2018 chaotic and a mess but More importantly our ability as a class to create close connections
with our classmates that have different interests than our own Our ability to stand out as individuals, but build a
bright colorful community when we come together as one Enough with the sappy talk. Let’s
talk about the soapy part of laundry Next pour the detergent into the washer the
detergent cleans our clothes like our teachers Administrators counselors and most importantly our
parents make sure we are focused in the right direction Now close the lid on the washer
and you’re all ready to go Simple and easy like
graduating high school, right? Well, sometimes there are mishaps Clothes can get stuck in the
middle part of the washer Just like Sam Updike’s knee in
the guard rail during PE at MEH Too much laundry can be loaded to the machine and cause the machine
to wash your clothes in an overly aggressive manner like the 2017 powder puff football game However with mishaps come marvels like a red shirt
turning a white shirt into a beautiful pink color Like your high school best friend making you a
better person even without you realizing it now Don’t forget to take your clothes out of the washer and put
them into the dryer or you’ll end up with the same mold growing on your shirts that
infest the ceilings of Mason and On that day when when you over dry your Mason
seniors shirt and it is too small for you to wear Just remember you’ll never
grow out of being a Mustang Congratulations class of 2018. It’s been an honor to
stand alongside you for the past 12 years. I’ll miss it At this time I would like to recognize two of my
colleagues who are serving as faculty marshals They led our distinguished faculty
into the Hall this evening We honor Miss Eleanor Hawksworth. Ms. Hawksworth joined the
George Mason Community in our social studies department in 1992 and is retiring after
26 years of service There we go! We would also like to honor miss
Bridget Dean-Pratt. Ms. Dean Pratt Ms. Dean Pratt began teaching in the
English department at George Mason in 1991 She, too, is retiring
after 27 years of service Thank you for your incredible service to these
seniors and to many other Mustangs before them I Now invite class treasurer Samuel Updike to come
forward for the presentation of the class gift Good evening Ladies and gentlemen each year the senior class at George
Mason High School presents the community with a gift This year the class of 2018 has continued your school’s long-standing
relationship with the Falls Church winter homeless shelter Throughout the winter the senior class cooked and donated
meals to the shelter weekly and as our senior gift We will donate the remainder of
our class account to the shelter We are very grateful for everything the Falls Church
community has done for us on the path to graduation And is only fitting that we were able to
give something back in return. Thank you Get your textbooks memorize facts and figures and
a high grade point average Get into a good college
and buy more textbooks Like it says on the shampoo bottles wash rinse
and repeat until you graduate with a good job This according to conventional wisdom
will lead to a meaningful and happy life But what if conventional wisdom is wrong? We don’t need textbooks. We don’t use Textbooks that’s what a college professor told me
three weeks ago at the University of Virginia. I Followed conventional wisdom throughout high school certain
that it would lead me to fulfillment and happiness four of my fellow graduates Adam Hindon Chloe Sanders Tenzin Namgyal and grace
Johnson studied as hard as the rest of us But they went beyond the textbooks to find
meaning and happiness in their own ways Inspired by their experiences. I asked for and received
their permission to tell you their stories today. I Discovered Adam Hindon story when I participated in
our drama production of Metamorphosis this spring During one rehearsal. Mr. Northrup decided
to play music as I delivered my lines Suddenly, I felt a surge of emotion from the most
incredible soundtrack. I had ever heard in a play After rehearsal I scoured the web for songs, but
I found nothing I got goosebumps goosebumps I told Adam the next day as I recounted the
music, but I can’t find it anywhere Oh Adam said chuckling I made that From a young age Chloe Sanders was given strict instructions
on what it means to be a woman How to look like a woman think like a woman and act like a woman
all according to the conventional wisdom of her European heritage But none of it fit Over the past four years in IB art Chloe
has worked to shatter the stereotypes From striking canvases of the human body
two giant bras made of wire and fabric She now creates her own
identity as a woman through art Chloe aspires to continue this endeavor
this fall at Rutgers University When high school Photographer Tenzin Namgyal attended a rally against gun violence
in February. He found himself in an uncomfortable position As congressman Don Beyer stood
to the podium to deliver remarks most photographers assumed the
regular positions at the sidelines Cornered by the crowd Tenzin began snapping
photos of Beyer from under the podium Impressed by his unconventional work the Don Beyer team
asked to post his photos on their Instagram account Moving into college Tenzin seeks to combine his unique
style of semi surrealist photography with political action Grace Johnson began working in medicine during her sophomore year in high school.
She volunteers at several INOVA hospitals and the Dale City Fire Department Each time that Grace confronts a patient she wonders if
she’ll lose her confidence and fail to help someone in need but every time that Grace has stepped up whether it was
responding to a waiter having a seizure in Mike’s deli or Treating gunshot wounds in the back of an ambulance or even
volunteering in Ecuador she recommits herself to saving lives Grace aims to work as an EMT this summer before attending
University of Utah’s School of Nursing this fall Since none of these students
have a 4.0 grade point average They were not eligible to
speak at graduation today But here’s my key point. If we only look at grade point
averages, these are the remarkable stories that we miss Adam Chloe Tenzin and Grace are each hugely talented
in their own ways as they explore their passions But what unites them is far more important They found meaning and happiness at
George Mason High School by straying away from conventional wisdom by looking beyond their
textbooks to learn outside of the classroom and by rejecting any link between their
sense of self-worth and their GPA To the class of 2018 over
these next four years I’m rooting for all of you to challenge conventional wisdom to forge
your own path and to find your own sense of meaning and happiness Thank you and good luck Good evening seniors parents family and friends
the commencement speaker for this evening’s Ceremony is the Honorable Justin Fairfax 41st lieutenant governor of
the Commonwealth of Virginia He graduated in the year
2000 from Duke University With a degree in public policy and
later from Columbia Law School in 2005 While he was born in Pittsburgh, he has grown up in
the DC area. So no worries. He’s probably a Caps fan In addition to being a
dedicated public servant He is a prominent lawyer and philanthropist a proud husband
and father and a fundamental pillar of the community We are pleased to welcome the Honorable Justin
Fairfax as the class of 2018’s graduation speaker Thank you, good evening everyone I Am so honored to be here with you tonight. What an
incredible occasion what a great class of young scholars And I’m hopefully looking forward to all of the things that you
will accomplish and achieve in your lives. I was born in Pittsburgh I’m gonna plead the fifth on who I
was rooting for in the playoffs But today I’m proud to see that George Mason
is rocking the red you guys are doing it And I’m so proud of every single one of you Thank you all My family actually have a little bit of a connection to
George Mason High School. We have two young children An eight year old son named Cameron and a seven year old daughter
named Carys and our daughter Carys actually plays lacrosse for our local Annandale Lacrosse Club And her games were played on
Sunday at George Mason High School So we would often be there on the field and we pick lacrosse because
we needed a sport where our daughter could hit people legally And so we really have enjoyed spending time at your
incredible incredible high school. To Superintendent, Dr Peter Noonan school board members, Mr. Reitinger.
Thank you for your leadership to the principal Matt Hills our assistant principals Kevin Clark David
Serensits and Dean of Students Adam White I’m so honored to be here with you today I look forward to all that you
have accomplished and all that You will accomplish. I, like your families your friends
who are gathered here today and overcome with pride in all that you have achieved in your lives. I see
the future of the country here in this Hall tonight And that future is incredibly bright to the faculty staff parents Family friends alumni and most importantly to the graduates
in the great class of George Mason High School 2018 Thank you for inviting me to celebrate
on this really truly special occasion I’m gonna tell you three short
stories here today, and I hope to Convince you of three things. I’m a trial lawyer and we always
like to make our case and have you remember what was said The first thing that I want to convince
you of is that you can overcome any Odds and obstacles in your lives
and I’ll share a story about that the second thing is that each and every one of you is
your family’s and your ancestors wildest dreams and I want to share a story about that and finally and just as importantly I believe that every
single one of you has the potential and will in fact Change the world. And I want
to share a story about that The first story is about overcoming
odds and challenges in your lives as was mentioned I was born in Pittsburgh,
but actually was raised right here in Washington DC about 15 minutes away in Northeast DC we
moved here in the mid-1980s when I was about six years old My parents both of whom I love very dearly got
divorced because life happens and what that meant was that my mother who had four children and I was a
youngest of those four had to find a place to start over and Fortunately for us that place was with my late maternal
grandparents two of the best people I have ever known My grandfather was a
Howard University graduate He was a World War two veteran
fought in the European theater And when he came back from the war he worked
at the United States Postal Service for over 45 years and walked to work every single day. My
grandmother also was a Howard University grad she was a nurse at Freedmen’s
Hospital for over 40 years and When their oldest child, my mom came knocking at their
door saying that she needed a place to start over They did something really incredible and
they took all five of us into their home It was a tiny row home in
Northeast, Washington, DC They did not have a lot of
money or a lot of space But they had a lot of love for their family and
that single act of love and generosity and courage Changed the entire trajectory of our lives. My mom was
able to save up enough money working as a pharmacist Do you all remember
people’s drug by chance? None of the students do that
cvs pharmacy if you ever go I’m dating myself She worked for 30 years at people’s drug, was able to save
up enough money to buy the home right across the street From my grandparents. It’s the
house where she still lives today And just as improbably with the help of so many people my mother was able to put all four of her children through college
and two of us through law school starting from that place and What I like to say is
that (applause) thank you What I’d like to say is it to make
that really improbable story possible People gave us something that I
like to call spiritual wealth We didn’t have a lot of money, but we had
faith and we had hope and we had optimism We got a high quality education like the
one you’ve received here at George Mason We had people who believed in us and
said no matter how dark today may seem Tomorrow can be brighter and you have to
believe that every single day of your life But they also taught us this that you
have to lift other people as you climb Life is not solely about your success when you get
that kind of spiritual wealth that changes your life You then have a spiritual debt that you must repay
and you have to go out and fight and make that story Possible for someone else so you all will encounter many challenges
and obstacles in your lives and many of you already have But I want to assure you that because of the spiritual
wealth that your families, your communities at George Mason have given to you you will be able to
overcome every single one of them the second story I’d like to share hopefully will convince you that
you are that we all are our ancestors wildest dreams I was inaugurated as 41st lieutenant governor of the
Commonwealth of Virginia on January the 13th of this year And 20 minutes before I walked out the
Capitol steps to take the oath of office my father Brought me a piece of paper That I’d never seen before in my life. He walked
over to me. We were in the basement of the Capitol And at first I thought it was a bill for
him raising me. So I gave it back to him I said “dad down was not the time for that”, but
he insisted that I take this piece of paper and I’m glad that he did Because what it was was actually the manumission document that freed my great-great-great grandfather Simon Fairfax from
slavery in Fairfax, Virginia On June the 5th 1798 220 years ago (applause) Thank you And That document was discovered For the very first time two days before my
inauguration in the Fairfax County Courthouse My father received a copy of day before and he
handed it to me 20 minutes before I walked out And so at the time that I raised my
right hand to take the oath of office I had in my breast pocket the document that
freed my great-great-great grandfather And he likely could not have imagined even sitting or standing on the
steps of the Capitol in Richmond and certainly not holding statewide office But I like to believe that he dreamed that it was possible
for one of the kids who came down the line in his family And I share that with you because that really is not just my family’s
story. It is Virginia’s story. But it also is America’s story And it’s your story. I believe that every single one
of us has a different version of that exact same story You have people who have hoped for you who have dreamed for you
who knew that one day you would come along they sacrificed They poured everything they had into the
possibility of you and you carry that now with you You’re the pride of your family your grandparents
your moms your dads or stepmoms or stepdads Your cousins your uncles all the
people who form your village And we could not be prouder of who
you are now and who you are becoming And so I want you to always keep in mind that you are the product
and the culmination of many generations of people believing Hoping praying and working and I know
that you will make them all proud and thank you And the the final story
that I want to share Hopefully will convince you that you
will be able to change the world In many ways you already have but I can imagine
the things that you will do going forward. I As lieutenant governor of Virginia
preside over the Senate of Virginia We have 40 senators as you all know because you learned that in civics
class and we have 21 Republicans 19 Democrats a very evenly divided body, incredibly cordial And on May the 30th of this year as
we wrapped up our special session We were finishing our budget. We do biennial
budgeting in Virginia every two years about a hundred and fifteen
billion dollar budget And one of the issues revolved around how we expand
access to health care in the Commonwealth of Virginia and while there were many opinions on all sides of this
issue, I was happy to say that we’re able to come to a Bipartisan compromise and in my role as lieutenant
governor I get to break ties in the Senate When there whenever there are tied votes we
ended up having four twenty twenty votes On our budget around this
issue of health care Because I was able to sit in that chair.
I broke those ties and now 400,000 Virginians are gonna have access
to health care who otherwise would not And so I share that story Because that story is not about me at all It’s about the many people who will
now have access to health care But just as importantly it’s about all those people
who I described over the years who have created Opportunities who have made it
possible to move forward in life It’s about Simon Fairfax 220 years ago got
his freedom and hoped for a brighter day It’s about my mom who made that drive down from
Pittsburgh and an old beat-up car, without a lot of money but with hope in her eyes
and for her four children it is the same story that your families in a
different version share with each one of you and So I am so encouraged I know that sometimes it can be tough in this
environment for people to come together to find Inspiration and hope but this
is the inspiration and hope That’s gonna carry us forward into a much brighter day in the
Commonwealth of Virginia and in this country and really around the world So I want to thank you all so much In honor of the hockey team, I was
gonna write out my speech in all caps But then I’d scream at you the whole
time and that’s not a good thing But this is the red that I’m so proud to see this week. God
bless you all go change the world. Thank you very much! (Applause) Thank You lieutenant governor It is now my distinct pleasure to invite my colleagues
Ms. Reyes director of counseling and Mr. McAdam and Mr. Snyder, senior class advisors Miss Chesley and Miss Karen counselors to join
me in presenting the diplomas to the class of 2018 Adwoa Yacoba Akuma Sedona Frances Decint William Thomas Langan Samuel Thomas Updike Youadan Giorgis Teddy Hannah Marie Rollins Charles Boland William Gustaf Abruzzi Robert Alexander Adipietro Daniela Sofia Alfaro Sarah Elizabeth Alverson Arlly John Russell Amaranto Jacqueline Adeline Anderson Rovasoa Timothy Andrianarison Ronaldo Antezana Isabella Esther Armstrong Isabella Amilia Ashton Christopher Alexander Allan Autor Renan Ayala Rosales Jack Bevil Bandy Jeffrey Michael Bandy Lucas Alexander Barthel Katheryn Delgado Jessie Rose Beddow Nicole Aba Bloomgarden Alexandra Bloss-Baum Reed Charles Bond Anja Katarina Boneau Eliza Cecily Bonilla Hope Paxton Bossart Aubrey Virginia Broxson Frederick Charles Bruner Emma Justine Bury Jordan James Byrne Victoria Wang Bysfield Nicole Casero Henry Paul Casillas Arthur Johnathan Chapman Tristan Stephane Charpentier Anish Chatterjee Nicholas Tiger Cheung Katherine Grace Chiari Olivia Allison Cipriano Richard Cuneo Columbia William Michael Comstock Cyril Raymond Contessa Gordon Christopher Copeland Thomas William Creed Cole Cureau I got it, I got it Michael Francis Curtin III D’Avionne Mo’nay Colbert Kaitlyn Elizabeth Daniels Rigel Charles Date Meredith Anne Davis Thomas Bartlett Dean Angela Katalina Valles Dilao Celine Diz Elizabeth Marie Dodge Alexander Dorsey Hannah Lynn Dunie Angarazaya Elberelt Evangeline Ellis Nicholas Clayton Fellows Craig Powell Fischer Benjamin Fong Matthew Alan Freden Liam Eskil Didier Fribley Victoria Raquel Friend Logan Funk William Steve Gaskins Jr Justin Michael Gemond Ivy Irene Ghiz George Thomas Gilligan John Robert Gilligan Nani Giorgadze Isaiah Gomez Merriweather Elizabeth Gordon John Zygmunt Grondelski Emilia Hope Grove Lydia Wagner Grund Peter David Haensel Craig Edward Hagigh Katarina Genevieve Hansen Lydia Faith Hansen Danielle Anna Keese Hatziyannis Megan Merideth Hayes Adam King Hinden Katherine Lee Hirsch Claire Audoun Hiscott Nathaniel Gregory Holmes Blake Myles Hopkins Kayla Dionne Howard Haeju Jeong Alexandra K. Johns Grace Margaret Johnson Meredith Jean Johnson Jonathan Kyle Jura Adrian Mo Kamel Ivane Kassa Devon Ian Farquharson Keith Dean Christopher Kim Joshua Cain King Leah Macht Kleinberg Mary Rose Klemic David Matthew Koslow Kristopher Steven Krueger Rachel Brüsh Lambert Houston Byrd Langford Elliott Arthur Levri MaryGrace Lizotte Mackenzie Grace Loi Marjorie Lopez Morillo Matthew Lyng Sarah Anne Maller Clara Rose Matton Sophia Elaine Matton Rachel Vivien Matz Peyton Mackenzie McClure Cara Elizabeth McFall Cooper James McGuire Mitchell James McKeon Neil Kumar Menon Carlos James Mercado Nicole Marie Miceli David Lawrence Miller Kathryn Grace Mills Ella Elizabeth Moon-Brown Gavin Arthur Morrison Ethan Dean Morse Ferron Xiao Shi Murphy Meghan Vaillancourt Murphy Tenzin Namgyel Arjun Narain Ann Elizabeth Newburn Ally Maire O’Hanlon Morgan Pratt Pendleton O’Keefe Lincoln Orellana Sahithi Krishna Palle Katherine Rose Patterson Ryder Anthony Pavela Maria De Los Angele Pereira Martinez Caroline Leighton Perez Hunter Jacob Plaks Brian John Puller Jr Maricela Janet Ramirez Kate Laughlin Read Thomas Alexander Fleurine Reeves Elizabeth Paulsen Reid Ivy Fuller Renner Katherine Elizabeth Rentz Christian Barton Richards Nicholas Adedapo Bakari Robbin-Coker Amy Elizabeth Roche Finn Louis Roou Ethan William Rosenberger Christian Leander Ross Daniel Taylor Ross Connor Michael Rowe Victoria Rose Rund Benjamin Warren Salak Yatou Jeanne Sallah Daniel Quentin San Giovanni Chloe Jeanne Sanders Vasily Ethan Sarris Peter Anthony Scardino Annette Megan Schlitt William JD Schneider Aziz Ahamad Shaik Jenna Marie Short Nathan Andrew Siemer John Joshua Skiba Linnea Ann Scotte Sydney Smith Rebecca Elisabeth Stern Noah Benjamin Surette Biruk Belayneh Teshome Delaney Elizabeth Theisz Estelle Anna Timar-Wilcox Grant Justyn Tomchick Hannah Leah Trauberman Claire Elizabeth Trundle Truong Quach Phuong Uyen Mathieu Hikmat Jacques Viala John Christopher Walton Griffin Phillips Warner Katharina Weber John Parker West Laura Katherine Whitaker Jaden Santina White Sally Grace Wiley Kalena Lucille Irene Wojtala Robert Andrew Wong Annabelle Yimaj Flynn Samuel Yoder Chloe Marie Young Matthew Edward Zampella Guangyao Zheng Okay, guys How do you sum up four years of 206 different lives in
two and a half minutes? Anyone? Well, unless you talk like Eva then I
really don’t think it’s gonna be possible you see there’s just so much ground to cover like when
we crushed the juniors in powder puff this year or Or When the hallway decorations, were a fire hazard our
freshman year. It’s endless really but in all seriousness The past four years have been incredible It’s been said at probably
every graduation before ours But the city of Falls Church is truly a very special
place and it’s what makes all of us the class of 2018 So different from everyone else We’re kind of like Hannah
Rollins on a spirit day Yeah sure. We have moldy ceilings
and fire catching water fountains But we also have amazing teachers and a fantastic administration
who I’d like to think make up for some of Mason’s safety hazards Take Mr. Snyder, for example
at the beginning of the year He told me that I should start writing this speech
or else I would regret it. Well, what did I do? Of course, I waited six months until the
night before it was due to write it I can’t fathom how he knew
that was going to happen Nevertheless this chapter in our
lives is quickly coming to a close Soon the halls of George Mason High
School will become just a memory It doesn’t matter whether you have lived here your
entire life or this is your first and last year at Mason But you will always remember those
long bus rides to away games Mike’s deli the senior courtyard on a warm day and
the million other things that make Falls Church home But most of all we are going
to remember each other Congratulations class of 2018.
It was truly an honor Mustangs I aske you, will
you strive for greatness? Will you fight for what you believe in? Will you conquer your fears en
route to a successful career? Will you stand apart from the crowd? If
these last four years for you are any Indication of what the next 80 might look
like I think the answer is pretty clear George Mason high school
students are passionate, driven relentless Each and every student in this room found a way to
masterfully navigate the complexity of high school No matter the challenge you faced,
you stood tall and prevailed I recently walked into a classroom and came across a student
struggling with an assignment. She turned to me and asked Mr. Hills How will this Prepare me for the real world? The this she was referring to was
simplifying rational expressions Quickly recognizing my
mathematical limitations It was the perfect opportunity for
me to shed light on the deeper meaning of high school high school
teaches you the learning process It turns the comfortable into the uncomfortable. It
improves your ability to communicate and collaborate and challenges you to think critically It allows you to recognize your
weaknesses and how to overcome them It encourages you to celebrate your strengths and find
your niche High School provides students an opportunity to Persevere the successful completion of high school means
you are prepared to face the adversities of the real world The abridged version of the answer to her question probably
should have been if you find a way to complete the problem It will translate into lifelong success. I couldn’t
quite help myself with the long winded response As Mustangs we pride ourselves
on being risk takers We recognize the path to success is
not just to be strong in one area But knowledgeable in many we find our passion and pursue
our dreams while always practicing a sense of balance I’m reminded of this very model used by Ms.
Hawksworth the exceptionally engaging Storyteller of history who is devoutly led a 20-year project
at GM to recognize active and retired Service men and women who have been a part of the
Mustang community. Thank you, Ms. Hawksworth I’m also reminded of this by Ms. Dean-Pratt a nurturing and
supportive Shakespearean Guru who led our Poetry Out Loud Competitions in an effort to recognize students in a
different forum Ms. Dean-Pratt and Miss Hawkesworth’s Dedication will have a lasting
impact on our community Mustangs, I implore you to find your passion
find it in a way that is meaningful methodical and “Mustangular” yes, I may have just coined a new word but it represents
the path that each of you took to get where you are and Where you ultimately want to be. You as George Mason high school
graduates are unique in so many ways. You don’t settle for mediocrity You are passionate about your beliefs. You
care deeply for one another and you work hard Today does not mark the culmination
of your academic career but rather the starting point for endless
opportunities that await each of you on behalf of the Faculty of George Mason the office of the superintendent and
the school board and with the power Vested in me by the Department of Education of the
Commonwealth of Virginia, I hereby confer upon you These diplomas in recognition of your fulfillment
of the requirements for high school graduation Lieutenant Governor Fairfax Dr. Noonan, Ms. High, Ms. Michael.
Mr. Reitinger, Mayor Tarter faculty of George Mason Parents relatives and guests. I present to you the George Mason high school graduated class of 2018 who I know will do whatever it takes! Thank you, please take a seat graduates (Exit procession music plays) Applause

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